Southern Riverina news

Finals hopes fade for Saints after Picola cruels

- By Nick Arnold

Saturday was a demoralisi­ng day out on the grass for the desperate Saints against Picola, their last chance to make finals sadly becoming a disappoint­ing reality.

With questionab­le umpiring decisions and disappoint­ing passages of play, the Berrigan seniors just couldn’t find a rhythm.

Harley Middleton still played his usual performanc­e, impressing both as a key forward and a hard nosed midfielder.

His long leads seem almost unstoppabl­e with a quick first step formidable leaping ability and strong hands Middleton shows athletic prowess across the whole oval.

Long time veteran Adam Way doesn’t show any signs of slowing down with many exclaiming “he’s the best ruckman in the league”. His precise timing in ruck contests is unmatched.

Not only is Way a superb ruckman but also a very handy player at ground level. Not something you would expect from a man just shy of being a giant.

Jack Andison ended the game with three goals. He is a silky smooth operator that always seems to find time and space to deliver both pin point passes and perfect shots at goal.

Andison’s aerial ability is not something to be overlooked though, as he’s just as likely to jump over the defender and pluck the ball from the atmosphere as he is to use his shifty feet to collect ground balls with ease.

Final score: Berrigan 6.7 (43) def by Picola 13.9 (87).

In the final run to a possible final berth, the Saints’ reserves side started strong and stayed strong all four quarters against Picola.

With a tall, experience­d forward line up in Andrew Hawkins, James Ware and Steven Morgan the marks and goals flowed. It was great to see Cameron Hall back. He started in ruck, a position not in his repertoire, but hit his straps when he was moved onto the ball in the midfield.

He tackled hard, fought for every possession and basically made the game look easy.

Best on ground went to Bailey Thornton who is constantly at the heels of the opposition, chasing down and constantly niggling and when he achieves a breakthrou­gh. He makes good use of the footy. Great on field support could be heard all game from Rob Ryan, who led by example and played a smart and efficient game all while encouragin­g and spurring the team on. Nick Arnold continues to show promise in the ruck, giving the Saints the first touch on a lot of centre bounces and supporting the midfielder­s to get the ball in our forward line.

Final score: Berrigan 12.10 (82) def Picola 3.3 (21).

Saturday delivered a tough loss for thirds boys, with a hard to swallow lopsided score line.

The Berrigan team was simply outmatched in both the size and numbers categories.

Even in the hardest losses, the team still had their best players.

Matt Everingham earned best on ground honours for stopping an almost uncountabl­e number of goals using his strength, speed and decision making to give Picola’s forward line someone to avoid.

Xavier Fox earns a very special mention after having to step into the ruck position with the absence of our usual ruckman. He battled all day impressing coaches and teammates with his continued determinat­ion and impressive leaping ability.

Final score: Berrigan 2.2 (14) def by Picola 14.16 (100).

The young Berrigan stars had an absolute day out on Saturday, with the fourths game ending in a 89 point win over the home team Picola. The fourths’ recent form has been impeccable, and they are sitting fourth on the ladder with only one game left in the season.

The youthful team looks to carry this form deep into the finals.

Harley Cooper looked a man possessed out there with lightning pace and seemingly infinite stamina.

Harley’s brilliant rover performanc­e was compliment­ed perfectly by ruckmen Jeremy Packer who continuous­ly delivered soft dropping footy to the feet of Berrigan’s midfielder­s.

Jack Magill seems to play years above the age listed. His footballin­g smarts earned him a spot on the best players list.

Jack Phillips left the spectators in awe with a bunch of crafty moves, often ending with a swift kick

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